MAGUINDANAO — Several firearms, assorted ammunition and bomb parts were seized by police and soldiers during a search operation Friday in the alleged hideout of Ampatuan town Mayor Rasul Sangki and 3 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The BIFF members were identified as commander Bert Guiamelon, commander Ameril Katingan and commander Esmael Ungkag. The
The hideout was in the mountainous area of Barangay Saniag in Ampatuan.
Sangki is on President Rodrigo Duterte's narco list.
Authorities recovered a homemade bomb made out of a rocket-propelled grenade round that was attached to a battery and cellphone, which was used as a triggering device.
Other seized firearms, ammunition and explosive components are as follows:
- wooden butt for M14, M16 and AR-15 rifles
- M16 upper handguard and bolt
- two handheld-radio units
- three machine gun barrels
- barrel for M16 rifle and caliber-.30 machine gun
- 1 round, 40mm ammunition
- 14 link, caliber-.50 machine gun
- assorted parts, caliber-.50 machine gun
- 104 rounds of caliber-.40 ammunition
- 3 rounds, 7.62mm ammunition
- 1 round, 5.56mm ammunition
- 1 round, caliber .30
- 5 magazine assemblies, AK-47
- 85 steel clips, garand rifle
- 1 magazine assembly, carbine; 1 link empty shell for machine gun; and assorted military uniforms.
Police Superintendent Jimmy Daza, director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Sangki and the 3 alleged BIFF commanders escaped during the search.
The search operation was carried out peacefully and was witnessed by barangay officials.
Police are set to file multiple frustrated-murder charges, illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives against Sangki and the BIFF rebels, who were believed to be protecting the mayor.
The police search began Thursday morning, but law enforcers encountered armed men believed to be supporters of Sangki and his companions. Eleven soldiers and a BIFF member were wounded in the clash.
Daza urged Sangki to surrender and cooperate with authorities.
During his last public appearance, Sangki denied allegations that he is involved in the illegal drug trade.
The BIFF, through its spokesperson Abu Amir, also denied allegations that they are protecting Sangki.